Construction & Real Estate
Abu Dhabi TDIC cancels museum tender"
Abu Dhabi's government-owned Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has cancelled a tender related to the construction of the Guggenheim museum, according to a report. The company tasked with bringing branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums to Abu Dhabi, informed contractors that it was reviewing its procurement strategy and will not be awarding contracts at this stage, London-based Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) said. The cancelled tender was related to the ""structural package"" of the museum, Meed said without providing more details. TDIC was not immediately available for comment. Contractors submitted bids for a Dh400 million ($108.9 million) package in March. The bidders included UAE's Al Habtoor-Leighton Group, Dubai builder Arabtec, Saudi Oger, Egypt's Orascom Construction and South Korea's Samsung C&T. TDIC told bidders that the bid bonds would be returned, the report said. The loss-making company recently completed roadshows for the potential bond issue but delayed the sale due to market conditions. It also cut its 2011 budget by 5 billion dirhams (1.4 billion) as part of a strategy to prolong its project delivery schedule amid a market downturn. The new 450,000-sq foot Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, the world's largest, and designed by architect Frank Gehry, will house a contemporary collection focusing on Middle Eastern art. Guggenheim and Louvre are being planned for the Saadiyat Island in the capital city, which is a $27 billion art and culture project. Source: Reuters"
Abu Dhabi: Focus on infrastructure"
Abu Dhabi’s construction industry is shifting its focus from residential and commercial development, which has long dominated the trade, to a rising number of infrastructure projects. However, supply pipeline bottlenecks could cause costs to rise and delay the rollout of some plans. A report issued by Citigroup in mid-September showed hundreds of construction projects across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had been rescheduled or cancelled, with more than half of all cancellations and delays in the UAE. “Unsurprisingly, cancellations in the UAE relate predominantly to real estate,” Citigroup said. “This market is becoming less attractive for contractors.” However, the Abu Dhabi government has found another market for the construction industry’s skills, one that will help bridge the gap left by the real estate sector’s slow recovery, with many new infrastructure projects coming off the drawing boards. Craig Plumb, the head of research for MENA at global property services firm Jones Lang LaSalle, said the government’s move to invest in infrastructure developments was pronounced both in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE. “There is a big shift away from real estate projects into infrastructure,” he told local media on September 13. “Certainly in the UAE the major spending is going to be on infrastructure – whether that’s power stations, nuclear power or railway lines.” Among the big ticket items the Abu Dhabi government supports is the majority of the $11 billion national rail network, which, when completed in 2018, will stretch for 1200 km and connect Abu Dhabi to the UAE’s other emirates and ultimately Oman and Kuwait. Source: Oxford Business Group"
Bahrain plans $26m revamp for village"
A rundown Bahraini village located on the doorstep of one of the country's main commercial centers has been earmarked for a BD10 million ($26.5 million) revamp, designed to make it a ""model village"". Karbabad, situated next to the Seef District, will be the first of seven villages nationwide to benefit from a major redevelopment program. The project was announced yesterday (October 23) and work is due to start early next year. It will be carried out by the Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry's Urban Development Directorate and overseen by the Manama Municipal Council. Karbabad has been selected to be the first due to its deep roots in history, thanks to Bahrain Fort, its close proximity to the Seef District and its rich heritage of basket-weaving - a profession that dates back years in the village. The revamp will be divided into five phases that include building government homes, a handicrafts center and market, a shopping complex and plaza, a gateway and a monument on the village's main roundabout. Source: TradeArabia News Service"
Qatar to award World Cup contract next month"
Qatar will award a management contract next month to oversee construction projects for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament, an industry source said. More than six companies are vying for the contract, expected to be awarded in November, including British construction consultants Arup, Mace and Turner International, a construction industry source in Doha said. ""It is a lump sum contract for 13 years, and will be awarded to one team comprising about 50 people. A lot of firms have teamed up with each other, to make sure they have the best quality resources,"" the source said. ""It is a big deal, so the usual suspects are pitching for it."" Britain's Mace separately confirmed in an interview that it was in the running for the Qatar soccer project and expected a decision before December. The country last December won the bid to host the 2022 soccer tournament, and is preparing to build housing, infrastructure, transport and sport facilities for the event. Industry commentators say the program management contract would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, with the winning group to oversee the construction of the stadia as well as awarding contracts to builders. Source: Reuters"
Dubai: Real estate on track"
Dubai’s property market is validating the adage that the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location. While much of the market is expected to post modest gains this year before rebounding more strongly in 2012, residential and commercial properties close to the emirate’s growing metro network are increasing in popularity and value at a healthier pace. According to data compiled by the property management firm Asteco, rents for residential properties near some of the 29 stations on the Red Line, one of two lines of the Dubai Metro network, have risen by more than 10% since the route opened in September 2009. Vineet Kumar, the head of business development at Asteco, said easy access to transport connections is a major selling point for clients looking for property and the demand for prime locations will drive up returns. “People like to be near a transportation link,” Kumar told local media in early September. “Since the opening of the metro, properties in close proximity to a station have become a priority for many tenants, who are prepared to pay extra for the privilege.” Both commercial properties in the city center, as well as residential units along the Red Line’s 52-km route, have seen a boost in demand, and that trend is set to continue now that the 23-km Green Line, which opened Sept. 9, is in operation. Source: Oxford Business Group"
OCI unit wins $578m Yas Mall contract"
A unit of Egypt's Orascom Construction won the main 416 million euro ($578 million) construction contract to build a mall in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the firm said. The contract for Yas Mall, a retail development on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, was awarded to Six Construct, which is fully owned by Besix Group, itself a 50-50 joint venture between OCI and Belgian construction group Besix. Six Construct will build a 235,000 square meter retail area, a parking lot, and associated infrastructure, the firm said in a statement. UAE's Aldar Properties, which is developing the mall, had previously announced it gave the award to OCI, without giving the value of the contract. The total area for the project, expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2013, is about 1.2 million square meters. OCI, Egypt's biggest listed firm, posted a 15 percent rise in second-quarter net profit and has said it expected construction orders to grow this year as governments in the Middle East try to create jobs by boosting infrastructure spending. Source: Reuters"
Qatari Diar signs $544m Egypt contract"
Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company said it has signed a $543.8 million contract with Consolidated Contractors Company to develop two projects in Egypt. Qatari Diar, the property arm of the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, established in 2004 to invest in real estate assets abroad, counts London's Chelsea Barracks among its most high-profile overseas assets. The contract allots $464.3 million to the company's Nile Corniche project in Cairo and $79.5 million to its coastal resort project in Sharm El Sheikh, Qatari Diar said in a statement. The mixed-use Nile Corniche project will include the construction of a five-star St. Regis hotel as well as office and residential accommodation, it said. The first phase of construction for the costal Sharm El Sheikh resort project, intended to draw tourists, is scheduled for completion in June 2012, it said. Source: Reuters"
Baniyas $816m project on track"
Baniyas Investment and Development (BID) – the investment arm of Baniyas Sports Club – has announced that the construction work on its Dh3 billion ($816.7 million) mixed-use development in Bani Yas is on schedule. Infrastructure works on Phase II villas of Bawabat Al Sharq are currently underway, a statement said. Royal International Construction, the established local contractor in the UAE, is currently working with full speed on site, according to the statement. A total of 58 villas within Phase II of Bawabat Al Sharq which are due to be delivered in December are now close to completion; in addition to that, works in the remaining 71 villas, which are due to be handed over in June 2012 are progressing as per the schedule, the statement said. “Bawabat Al Sharq is a world-class masterpiece and reflects our unmatched commitment to offer high quality projects, reinforcing our position as a leading player in the Middle East real estate milieu,” said Wael Tawil, chief executive officer of BID. Source: TradeArabia News"